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First look: Alpkit Hooped Bivvy-Bag (prototype).

First look: Alpkit Hooped Bivvy-Bag (prototype).

Some time ago I had a chat with Nick at Alpkit about the possibility of adapting one of their Hunka Bivvy bags in to an ultralite hooped bivvy for The Tour Divide.
After a little brainstorming session Nick went away to work on something for me.
This is the result. It’s the first working prototype of, I believe, a potential production model. I hope I haven’t jumped the gun here and let the cat out of the bag.
I’ve christened her “Little Nellie”.


Nick pretty much nailed it first go.
Mitch Bryan and I will be doing some CO2 testing on it for safety purposes (breathability) and then I’ll take it out in the field and see how I get on with it. It’s a new laminate material and Nick seems pretty excited about it.
I think there may be a couple of small changes to be made from its current guise but not too much.
The main hoop is a three-piece DAC affair from pre-formed aluminium. In order to integrate comfortably in to one of Alpkit’s 20L Air-Lok Dual Dry Bags it will need to be a four-piece.
A vent might be added to the door, and the guy ropes refined.
It’s weighing in about 550gms and packs down to 500mm long x 90mm diameter. With a four piece pole it could be around 400mm long. 
Dimensions are approximately 185cm long x 72cm wide and 50cm high at the entrance x 50cm wide at the base. It pretty much reflects the average dimensions of a standard mummy-type sleeping bag/sleeping mat with a bit of space at the shoulders, it should integrate nicely with something like their Numo Lightweight Sleeping Mat. I would hazard a guess that a production model would be slightly longer.
I asked Nick to make it deliberately minimalist for a lower overall weight and packing size.
It has a slight forward lean at the entrance for weather protection. My first impressions are that it is ideal. I think it could be a hugely popular option for a lot of people
 heading in to the outdoors; particularly Bikepackers, Alpinists, and Hikers.
It’s pretty much exactly what I was looking for. A very lightweight, snug, fuss-free, bivvy bag with a hoop for a bit more comfort; designed and manufactured by a local company with passion. Ace! 🙂
I like the people at Alpkit, I like their ethos and ideals, and I like their products. Look them up sometime, they’re worth it.
It currently measures 500mm x 90mm.
185cm long with a slight forward lean at the entrance.
.
72cm wide x 50cm high at the entrance
Full mosquito mesh window.
Let me out!
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Thank you for looking.
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About The Author

Neil Cottam

Neil is the founder of Chase The Rainbow. He has spent a lifetime exploring the outdoors, from a childhood climbing trees and scrambling his bike around old pit heads to hiking in the Himalaya and backpacking around Europe and Asia.

7 Comments

  1. Robin Moon

    Please make it big enough to accommodate a fat winter rated sleeping mat (synmat9) and a winter rated sleeping bag inside without compressing the loft out of the bag. It would make it a fantastic winter bivi.

    Reply
  2. Neil

    Hi Robin, thanks for the comment. I don't know what he long term plans are for the bivvy; I guess the good folk at Alpkit will decide that based on feedback and popularity. This was developed for me as a fast & light, fuss free, racing bivvy. Basically I wanted a bivvy bag with a hoop added so that it was still super-light but had a bit of added comfort for stormy nights. It really is a minimalist racing piece at the minute, although they are looking to produce it for the marketplace at some point in the near future. Thanks again, Neil 🙂

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    Hi Neil, I used to own a Golite Den, which this bivvy reminds me of. The Golite was a little bigger. I only used it for one season, until the Easton (rear) poles cracked under the pressure (it was a really tight fit). I also had lots of condensation. Curious to see how you get on. Good luck.

    Thomas

    Reply
  4. Unknown

    I used to have a Golite Den, which this design reminds me of. The Golite had two hoops using pre-bent poles. The rear pole was a real headache to insert, basically the design was flaw, and the poles started cracking under the pressure. Also, there was always a lot of condensation. It will be interesting to see how you get on. I have just ordered an Alpkit Ordos 2. I prefer a little extra room. Have fun!
    Thomas

    Reply
  5. Neil

    Hi Thomas, thanks for the comment. Hopefully with some smart venting we can get around any condensation issues (although it is impossible to eliminate it completely). The Ordos looks like a nice bit of kit, it definitely gets good reviews.
    Cheers
    Neil

    Reply
  6. fposse

    How are this coming along with this one? I'm looking for something exactly like this for bikepacking.

    Reply
  7. Neil

    Hi. Thanks for the comment.
    The bivvy is now in the later stages of development. I'm not sure when it will be released but it is well on the way to a finished product.

    Reply

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